Zamir Niazi passes away -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Zamir Niazi passes away

KARACHI – Veteran journalist Zamir Niazi passed away here on June 11 morning after a protracted illness. He was 72.

For more than a decade he was under treatment, but on Tuesday last his condition deteriorated and he was admitted to a hospital where he went into coma and never recovered.

After Friday prayers he was buried in a graveyard off Abul Hasan Asfahani Road, near Chappal Gardens. A large number of his relatives and journalists attended his funeral.

Born in Bombay in 1932 Zamir Niazi graduated in liberal arts before opting for a lifelong relationship with journalism. He was only beginning to discover his aptitude and feel the intensity of his passion to work as a journalist a noticeable political change took place. Two new independent sovereign estates – India and Pakistan – came into being in 1947.

He saw the partition of the subcontinent from a close angle and decided to work as a journalist, as this was the only way for him to express his thoughts and experiences as a non-partisan bystander of history taking shape in the form of the partition of the subcontinent. One of the biggest migrations of population taking place to newfound homes.

The pain and sufferings that politics brought to the people of the subcontinent remained with him as long as he lived.

His views on this subject could be read in Zamin Ka Noha, his book that appeared after India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998.

In 1953, at the age of 21, Niazi Sahib migrated to Pakistan and joined daily Dawn as one of its members of the editorial staff. After remaining associated with Dawn for about 11 years he decided to join daily Business Recorder, which was about to be launched under the editorship of M.A. Zuberi.

The first issue of Business Recorder appeared on April 27, 1965 and it was Niazi Sahib who brought it out. His association with Business Recorder came to an end some time in 1989. Now it was time for him to relax and read and give time to his family, but idleness was not his nature.

The lifelong habit of remaining buried under fresh newspapers and clippings and magazines and books of interest did not permit him solitude.

Throughout his life Niazi Sahib pursued his passion for knowledge and scholarship. Though he could not find time to write as many books as he could have because of his continuing fight against time as edition in-charge at Business Recorder, but he managed to collect material for his first book Press in Chains and some support for other books.

His subsequent books Press Under Siege, The Web of Censorship and Zamin Ka Noha were based upon facts, observations and analytical analysis of political events. He was on his way to arranging material for his fifth book but could not find much time to do it.

The reason was simple. He had to fight against the killer disease that was following him.

For the last more than 10 years, Niazi Sahib was under treatment and on high potency drugs. But surprisingly he never discussed his illness and never complained about his falling health. Despite deteriorating health, Niazi Sahib would never say ‘No’ to an invitation to talk about the quality of journalism, freedom of the press and human rights.

He would travel any distance and bear the heat of the day and cold of the night to contribute his share of thought in the greater interest of the freedom of the press and human rights. On such occasions, he could be seen standing under the shade of a Neem tree in the Karachi Press Club backyard. The backyard would now have no Zamir Niazi to stand there any more.

Niazi Sahib has left two sons, Haris Zamir and Junaid Zamir, grandchildren and a widow to mourn his death.

His Qul will be held on Sunday between Asr and Maghrib prayers at Umer bin Khattab Mosque, 4/A, Journalists Society, Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

Arrangements for ladies have been made at 174-B, Block 4-A, Journalists Society, Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

CONDOLENCES: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has condoled the death of Zamir Niazi.

Jamali said Zamir Niazi, throughout his career as a journalist, upheld the norms of journalism and never compromised on principles.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Sheikh Rashid eulogised the services of Zamir Niazi in the field of journalism.

Sheikh Rashid said he served the profession dedicatedly and honestly.

They prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and give courage and fortitude to the bereaved family.

Sindh Information Secretary Mehtab Akbar Rashidi has condoled the sad demise of Zamir Niazi. She said his contribution for the freedom of press will be remembered forever and will be a source of inspiration for all those who strive for the objective in future.

APNS: All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) President Arif Nizami and Secretary General Muhammad Aslam Kazi have expressed profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Zamir Niazi.

They stated that the newspaper industry has lost him at a time when the press freedom is under severe attack.

KUJ: The Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) has paid rich tributes to veteran journalist Zamir Niazi, and described him as a crusader of press freedom and encyclopaedia on journalism.

In a statement issued here on Friday, KUJ President Mazhar Abbas, General Secretary Fazil Jamili and members of the executive council paid rich tributes to the contribution of Niazi Saheb in compiling the record of events of the struggle for press freedom.

Zamir Niazi’s contribution to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) would always be remembered, they said.

HRCP: In his condolence message, Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) Chairperson Tahir Muhammad Khan said Zamir Niazi’s role as a historian of the Pakistan press, and particularly with reference to censorship and restrictions imposed on it, is an immensely valuable contribution to the academic work in the country on the media and the environment in which it operates.

He said HRCP appreciates Zamir Niazi’s efforts to protect the right of freedom of speech and speak out for the rights of the citizens, particularly journalists. HRCP office-bearers and staff extend their deepest condolence to the bereaved family, and hope that the late struggle for press freedom will be continued in the years ahead.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:6/12/2004